Nollywood booms against all odds
THE Nigerian movie industry is out-producing both Hollywood and Bollywood in terms of sheer numbers, with its films being shown not just throughout Africa, but also in European and American cities with African immigrant populations.
“Our film sector is facing a great future,” says Emeka Mba, director-general of Nigeria’s National Film and Video Censors Board.
The Nigerian daily National Mirror even trumpets that Nollywood –– the term for Nigeria’s own dream factory –– is set “to conquer the world”.
Much of the low-cost production features melodrama, with love, power and treachery as the main themes. TV channels like Africa Magic broadcast Nigerian productions round the clock, like Brazil’s telenovelas.
However, to make the leap to international success, Nigeria’s films will need a large cash injection and improved production conditions. In 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan pledged to provide government funding of US$200 million to promote the sector.
Nollywood may churn out between 1 000 and 2 000 films a year. But the annual turnover of the industry is only about US$250 million, according to Mba.